Preserve coastal areas to combat plastic pollution

The world is witnessing a growing population and an increasing number of travellers, both domestically and internationally. Unfortunately, this has led to a surge in pollution along the coastlines of oceans and seas, which make up over 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface. Iconic beaches worldwide are now bearing the brunt of various forms of pollution. Therefore, it is imperative for all countries to prioritize the conservation of their coastal and marine ecosystems.
Coastal resources encompass natural infrastructures such as mangrove forests, coastal woodlands, and coral reefs. These ecosystems play a crucial role in sequestering carbon dioxide, a major driver of climate change. The depletion of coastal resources could exacerbate climate change, causing harm to vital features like mangrove forests, coral reefs, seagrass beds, archipelagos, deltaic regions, and fisheries. Myanmar, situated in Southeast Asia, boasts a rich array of ecosystems, including mangrove forests, coral reefs, and seagrass beds, all of which contribute significantly to the nation’s economy and well-being.

In light of these concerning trends, the people worldwide, including the citizens of Myanmar, need to take action to conserve oceans and coastal areas promptly. This is not only crucial for safeguarding food production but also for mitigating the impact of natural disasters. By recognizing the importance of these coastal ecosystems and adopting sustainable practices, everybody can hope to reverse the tide of plastic pollution that threatens precious oceans and seas. It’s time for a united global effort to protect our coastlines and preserve the health of the planet.

Regrettably, Myanmar’s mangrove forests along the coastal areas are rapidly deteriorating for several reasons. Among them, communities living along riverbanks dispose of hundreds of tonnes of waste into the water each year. Moreover, a large number of beachgoers leave plastic waste behind without any regard for the environment.
Plastic products, while inexpensive, take hundreds of years to decompose. Consequently, plastic waste can be found in natural water bodies such as rivers, creeks, lakes, oceans, and seas. Shockingly, surveys reveal that between 75 million and 199 million tonnes of plastic waste currently contaminate oceans and seas.
If global consumption, production, and disposal of plastic products continue unabated, the amount of plastic waste entering aquatic ecosystems could skyrocket to an alarming 19 million to 23 million tonnes annually. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, this volume could triple by 2040. Since plastic waste persists in the environment for extended periods, microplastic particles can gradually find their way into the food chain through aquatic organisms.
In light of these concerning trends, the people worldwide, including the citizens of Myanmar, need to take action to conserve oceans and coastal areas promptly. This is not only crucial for safeguarding food production but also for mitigating the impact of natural disasters. By recognizing the importance of these coastal ecosystems and adopting sustainable practices, everybody can hope to reverse the tide of plastic pollution that threatens precious oceans and seas. It’s time for a united global effort to protect our coastlines and preserve the health of the planet.

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